last weekend, my favorite doctor/chef/husband/dad competed in the rei skillet battle and despite the total deluge, it was such a great time! he went head-to-head against nine other washingtonians, cooking an entire meal in a cast iron on a camp stove in 45 minutes. somehow, he pulled off the most delicious paella, full of maryland lump crab, clams and half smokes. oh yeah, and some natty boh.


spoiler alert: steven didn’t win. major judging error. oh, speaking of judges, top chef california contestant marjorie meek-bradley was one of them. so, that was kind of neat.

here are some fun pictures of the cooking — and the incredible venue, wunder garten dc.


here’s the venue. it’s super cute, with tons of individual lounge areas that make the large space feel really intimate. each space has an outdoor sectional sofa, which is great because i love sitting on the sofa. ha! the middle of the space has a campfire — so cool! they also have lots of veggies growing, a good beer and wine selection and my favorite: giant chess (i should mention, i don’t know how to play chess. i just think it’s really cute)!


eek! moments before the torrential downpour.


cute, dog friendly seating area.


steven’s paella, being devoured by the crowd!


no idea who this sweet lady was, but so thankful she took this nearly-17-pound baby off my hands for a few moment.


my sweet, sleepy (and pretty wet) girl.


little sisters playing chess!


she face planted seconds after the shutter was pressed. oops! ; )


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he's a culinary institute of america grad in medical school. she's a journalist, who prior to their meeting, used the oven solely for storage.

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